Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 4-1 win over the lowly Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center, a victory that gives the Bruins two in a row.
GOLD STAR: David Krejci hit a big milestone with his 700th career point for the Bruins and he did it with style while notching three assists in the victory. It was part of a dominant night with the three helpers and a plus-1 rating in 16:49 of offense to go along with two shots on net and a commanding 6-of-8 performance in the face-off circle. The last two helpers were vintage Krejci with the play-making center finding Smith open in front of the net for a quick shot and then delivering a perfect feed to David Pastrnak for a scorched one-timer that bounced back out of the net as quickly as it went into it. With the three assists Krejci matched his offensive output for the first eight games this month where he likewise posted three points, though there was a goal in there. But the Bruins need Krejci’s production if they are going to have a viable offense and he was bringing it against the Sabres.
BLACK EYE: The Bruins had to scramble on Thursday when news hit that one of their players had entered the COVID-19 protocols with Sean Kuraly being the unlucky one. The Bruins had to scrap morning skate as a result of the test results along with a positive test for one of the staff for the Buffalo Sabres, but they were able to go on with the show tonight. And they inserted Greg McKegg into the lineup in place of Kuraly, and McKegg went out and scored the first goal of the game for the Bruins after tipping home a Matt Grzelcyk point blast. So, all’s well that ends well for the Boston Bruins this time around, as it appears they and the Sabres avoided bigger problems at this point.
TURNING POINT: It appeared that both the Bruins and Sabres were both tentative and rusty during the first period after COVID-19 knocked them out of their usual routine. But the B’s managed to eke out a 1-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes and then they threw 15 shots on net in the second period while scoring a pair of goals to take a two-goal lead. It could have been an even bigger margin as both Craig Smith and Brad Marchand dinged posts in the second period as well, but instead the Bruins simply took control of the game while putting a couple of goals up on the board.
HONORABLE MENTION: Craig Smith had one of his best nights as a Boston Bruins. Not only did he score a goal in the second period that extended the B’s lead to 3-1 at that point, but he hit a couple of posts, used energetic skating legs to create chances for himself and his linemates all night and was a scoring threat every time he had the puck on his stick. Smith finished with three shots on net, five shot attempts and two takeaways in 13:33 of ice time and had some pretty good chemistry going on with Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci out there. As a second line, that was about as good as things have looked with Krejci driving the bus this season.
BY THE NUMBERS: 700 – the number of career NHL points for David Krejci after his assist on Jake DeBrusk’s second period power play goal. He joins an exclusive 700+ club on Bruins that includes Wayne Cashman, Bobby Orr, Patrice Bergeron, Rick Middleton, Phil Esposito, Johnny Bucyk and Ray Bourque. A lot of Hall of Famers on that list.
David Krejci becomes just the 8th Boston Bruins player with 700 points
Ray Bourque – 1,506
John Bucyk – 1,339
Phil Esposito – 1,012
Rick Middleton – 898
Patrice Bergeron – 894
Bobby Orr – 888
Wayne Cashman – 793
DAVID KREJCI – 700
— Boston Sports Info (@bostonsportsinf) March 19, 2021
QUOTE TO NOTE: “He was involved in the game, good and bad at times. But I like that. I like a player that’s willing to be assertive.” –Bruce Cassidy’s initial thoughts on rookie defenseman Jack Ahcan in his first NHL game.